WASHINGTON — Arlington National Cemetery is where some of our nation’s most honored military veterans are laid to rest. Now, a group of landscaping professionals has gathered at the site to give back to those who spent their lives in service to their country.
Landscapers from all across the country gathered on Monday to do maintenance on the grounds, their way of honoring those who are buried there. The event is organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals for Renewal and Remembrance. In total there are around 400 landscapers who have come to help care for the spaces throughout the cemetery.
John Janes, a veteran of both the Marines and the Army, came with the agricultural equipment manufacturer Caterpillar. For him, the day represents a chance to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“I feel very connected here,” Janes said. “I was one of the lucky ones, I made it back to family and friends.”
Ken Taylor with John Deere came from North Carolina to spend the hot summer day laboring outside and says that he wouldn’t want to spend it any other way.
“To me, there isn’t a more humbling event to sponsor or participate in and certainly giving a day of my service to those who gave their life,” Taylor said.
For their part, Taylor says that John Deere is working to enhance the appearance of the grounds.
“How we’re doing that is by spreading lime. That’s going to keep the grass green.” Taylor said.
Taylor said the projects out here today are just a small thank you to honor those laid to rest here.
“You literally have people from all over the country giving a day of their service,” Taylor said. “Because it’s humbling.”